Food & Wine
5 things you should never cook in an air fryer
You can air fry almost anything. And why wouldn’t you want to? There’s a reason these appliances have seemingly taken over everyone’s kitchens. Air fryers can imitate the results of deep-frying with some intense hot air and only a fraction of the oil. With this healthier alternative, crispy foods don’t have to be reserved for nights out and special occasions. But, there are foods that just shouldn’t be seen near an air fryer. Before cooking with your air fryer, see which foods won’t work – even though they may be tempting to throw in there.
1. Battered foods
Unless the food is pre-fried and frozen, you’ll want to avoid placing wet batter in the air fryer. Aside from the obvious mess it will create, wet batter won’t set the way it does when it’s submerged in oil, meaning the food won’t have that crunchy shell. If you’d like to add a little crispiness to your food, coat in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.
2. Fresh greens
Leafy greens, like spinach, will cook unevenly and are very likely to burn due to the air fryer’s high-speed air. When choosing vegetables to cook in the air fryer, make sure they hold some weight, like broccoli or zucchini. Kale chips may also be successful if coated in enough oil to weigh them down. Ultimately, experts say that frozen veggies are the way to go when it comes to air fryers because they retain more moisture from the ice.
3. Whole roasts
The apparent issue with whole roasts is whether or not it will even fit properly into an air fryer basket, but even if it does fit, it’s best to just stick to the regular oven. The roast will not cook evenly, with the part closest to the heat source likely to burn by the time the part furthest away is safe to eat. The problem comes down to overcrowding. Since the hot air needs room to appropriately circulate, the most successful method would be to cook the roast in smaller pieces. If cooking a chicken, make sure the skin is facing up as air fryers heat from the top.
To really make the most of your appliance, discover 11 mistakes everyone makes with their air fryer.
Who wouldn’t love to instantly make some fried cheese to snack on? Since the air fryer isn’t truly ‘frying’ the food, placing cheese in it without some sort of coating will just melt the cheese into a puddle and create a mess you don’t want to clean up.
5. Raw grains
Grains such as rice and pasta can crisp nicely in an air fryer, but they have to be cooked on the stovetop first. Air fryers are intended to dry cooked food, so trying to cook something that needs to be immersed in water to cook properly won’t work. Even with an insert that allows you to place water inside the air fryer, the fan will never get hot enough to boil the water and successfully cook your grains.
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